The knowledge of buying behavior of consumers is necessary to understand the psychology of how they argue for and select items or their alternatives. This knowledge is necessary since it helps companies to improve their marketing campaigns to reach more consumers effectively (Hanaysha, 2018). There are different processes that are involved in the consumer behavior. A wide range of factors, specificities and the social characteristics of the individual come into play. The interaction of these factors consists of the consumer behavior. For instance, a consumer would first analyze what he would like to consume, and selects only goods or services that posses a greater utility. It is important to note that these factors vary with intensity and influence across regions, it is not always a straight forward and generalized process. It is therefore difficult for marketing managers to formulate and implement a suitable strategy to secure market segment. This is even made harder where the business operates in a competitive market with almost similar alternatives. The following paper will highlight the factors that influence a consumer decision making process.
Factors influencing Consumer Buying Behavior
To understand the drive for consumer decision and behavior, a marketing manager must ask themselves the following questions: what do the consumers buy and why? How do they buy? When and where do they buy? And finally, who is involved (Stankevich, 2017). Generally, there are five factors or forces that can answer these questions. It involves the psychological factors, economic factors, social factors, cultural and personal factors.
This category of factors stems from an internal drive. The most crucial ones for consideration are Motivation and Perception. Motivation can be described as the urge or drive which an individual develops to satisfy their needs. This factor becomes a buying motive when the individual makes a purchase. A motive in this case is an inner urge that compels a person to make the purchase, it is a driving force. Needs define the motive. Biogenic needs and Psychogenic needs are the two examples of needs defining motive. Biogenic needs are caused by the presence of a physiological state like thirst or hunger. A person is motivated to purchase water to satisfy thirst. Psychogenic needs involve the psychological status of a person, and may include recognition and esteem.
There are generally five senses that compose the human perceprion, this include smell, sight, hearing and touch. Each of the listed sense feeds information to the brain which is overwhelming causing the brain to only select desirable traits (Ramya & Ali, 2016). Therefore, information perceived is not always full. This cognitive factor is affected by the following elements: subjectivity, categorization, selectivity, past experience and exception. Subjectivity is the preexisting view of an individual; consumers buy goods and services due to preexisting knowledge about the product. Perception of a good or a service has a lot to do with the experience of the product by the consumer. Should a good or a service possess the maximum utility for the individual, their perception of the product is sealed in their minds and will always come back to purchase the product.
This factor denotes the social aspect of man. The behavior patterns usually acquired from socialization affect the decision making of a consumer. These socialization factors may include family, roles and status. At the family level, consumer decision making is influenced by the size of the family. Some families are extended while others are nuclear. Extended families result in massive buying from a consumer. The individual is also likely to develop varied tastes and lifestyles based on interaction with the extended family. The nuclear family influence takes two forms, orientation or procreation. In orientation, the person takes birth. Upbringing in this family setting means the person draws influences from parents. Should the parents be vegetarian, the child is likely to consume vegetables and refrain from animal products. The other type of family is from individuals procreating, they typically involve spouses and children. It is important for marketers to understand the demand derived by these set of individuals to better set an effective strategy. The roles and status social factor inclines on the taste and preferences developed from categorization to a certain class. Marketers need to assess the social classes available in a market to know the potential and mode of promotion for their products.
Human behavior is a result of learning and adopting processes. Individuals grow up learning about the values, perceptions, patterns and preferences from socializing with individuals around them. This leads to the development of a set of values which are distinct to a particular group hence culture. There are subcultures that influence the acquired values and tastes of a community. They may be nationality groups, race, religion and geographical areas (Durmaz et al., 2011). Cultural factors that influence consumer behavior include those set of beliefs that are shared within a group. This culture is usually passed down from generations. For instance, food is strongly related to culture, the Rajastan community regard fish as unacceptable food, other cultures consume them as their staple food. The subculture factors like religion also prohibit consumption of certain foods. Pork and Alcohol consumption among the Muslim faith is a taboo.
The economic factors include those that are brought about by financial potential. Individuals with high disposable income have increased spending as compared to those with limited resources. The financial factors at play include personal income, income expenditure, savings, and consumer credit (Lautiainen, 2015). The personal income of an individual dictates the consumption behavior of the individual. This includes the disposable income and discretionary income. Disposable income refers to the money balance while discretionary income is money remaining after omission like the basic necessities of life and taxes. Therefore, an increase in discretionary income increases the consumption behavior of an individual. Savings is money set aside for future purposes. If an individual decides to increase his savings, less money is left to spend on items leading to decrease in their demand. However, should the individual decide to spend money, there is high demand for luxury goods.
There are factors that are related to the individual which denotes the buying criteria. For example, age, occupation, income and lifestyle. At different age cycles, people buy different commodities which change with trends, tastes and preference. The occupation or profession of an individual also denotes the likely goods consumed by an individual. For instance, the items purchased by a doctor cannot be similar to those purchased by lumber jacks. Therefore, marketing managers have to design different marketing strategies which addresses the dominant occupation within the area. The lifestyle of an individual is also an important factor since it paves the way for the preference of a person.
A consumer-oriented marketing strategy needs to understand the driving forces and the needs of a consumer market to design suitable strategy. This involves studying at length the consumption behavior of a group of people and what is likely to appeal to their status. Marketing managers are advised to work by exploiting the psychology of their consumers and addressing their immediate need. It is the only getaway to success.
Durmaz, Y., Celik, M. and Oruç, R., 2011. The impact of cultural factors on the consumer buying behaviors examined through an empirical study. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(5), pp.109-114.
Hanaysha, J. R. (2018). An examination of the factors affecting consumer’s purchase decision in the Malaysian retail market. PSU Research Review, 2(1), 7–23. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRR-08-2017-0034
Lautiainen, T., 2015. Factors affecting consumers’ buying decision in the selection of a coffee brand.
Ramya, N., & Ali, D. S. M. (2016). Factors affecting consumer buying behavior. 5.
Stankevich, Alina. “Explaining The Consumer Decision-Making Process: Critical Literature Review”. JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS RESEARCH AND MARKETING, vol 2, no. 6, 2017, pp. 7-14. Inovatus Usluge D.O.O., doi:10.18775/jibrm.1849-8558.2015.26.3001. Accessed 31 May 2020.